tv PBS News Hour PBS October 17, 2016 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT
captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening. i'm judy woodruff. gwen ifill is away. on the newshour tonight: iraqi forces launch a long-awaited attack against isis to take back the key city of mosul after two years under the terrorist's group control. then, donald trump doubles down on claims of a rigged election, while ongoing email leaks are a headache for the clinton campaign. and u.s. health experts are borrowing a practice from africa, using a system of community health workers to help struggling areas. >> with your doctor you don't really want to say what you eat, so i'm able to tell her like really, if i'm not going well, or, you know, if i sneaked and cheated i tell her the right
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>> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> woodruff: the battle for the iraqi city of mosul is on. iraqi forces and their allies opened an offensive today to wrest the city from islamic state forces. the operation is backed by american air strikes and u.s. ground troops in support roles. by this evening, both iraqi and u.s. military officials said the assault is ahead of schedule. we'll have a full report, after the news summary. government forces in afghanistan are reporting progress against taliban fighters around a key city in the south.
they say they've pushed back insurgents outside lashkar gah, the capital of helmand province, with the help of u.s. air strikes. one afghan commander estimated hundreds of taliban fighters were killed in the last 24 hours alone. in the u.s. presidential campaign: republican donald trump hammered away again today at his claim that the election is being rigged-- against him. and, the ongoing furor over hillary clinton's e-mails took a new turn. lisa desjardins has our report. >> reporter: hillary clinton was off the campaign trail today, but her words from the past were back in the news. >> i did not email any classified material to anyone on my email. >> reporter: that was march of last year-- clinton also said she never received classified email. but notes from the f.b.i.'s investigation-- out today-- indicate that a senior state department official asked to
declassify one email that went to clinton's private server. separately, the official also offered to let the f.b.i. put more agents overseas. the f.b.i. refused to reclassify the email, but quoted someone in its records division as saying they "believed the state department had an agenda, which involves minimizing the classified nature of the clinton emails in order to protect state department interests and those clinton." the state department said today it was simply trying to understand the classification. >> so the allegation of any kind of quid pro quo is inaccurate, and does not align with the facts. >> reporter: late today, the f.b.i. also said there was no quid pro quo involved. meanwhile... >> this is a rigged system, folks. >> reporter: donald trump's repeated words this weekend questioning the integrity of the election reached a new level on twitter this morning. he wrote:
on sunday, trump's v.p. nominee mike pence seemed to be on a different page. >> will you accept the results of the election? >> we will absolutely accept the results of the election. >> reporter: but today in cincinnati, pence was pushing the idea of election problems. >> voter fraud cannot be tolerated by anyone in this nation because it disenfranchises republicans, independents, democrats, conservatives and liberals in america. >> reporter: in washington, the democratic v.p. nominee-- tim kaine-- seized on the trump criticism, while making a stop at his current workplace: the capitol. >> when you criticize the system, who are you criticizing? you're criticizing american voters, and you're criticizing local elected officials in cities and counties and states who have been running elections, you know, for decades and decades and decades. the criticism is completely unjustified, and it's a guy
who's whining because he's a big bully who's getting beaten, and now he's starting to whine. >> reporter: and amid the increasing tension, investigators are looking into pre-election violence. over the weekend, someone threw a fire bomb through the window of a local republican office in north carolina. no one was hurt. officials from both parties have disavowed the attack. for the pbs newshour, i'm lisa desjardins. >> woodruff: we'll look more closely at donald trump's warning about a rigged contest-- and its implications-- after the news summary. in syria: the ravaged city of aleppo may get a brief respite this week from russian air strikes and syrian ground assaults. russia's military announced today a "humanitarian pause"-- for eight hours, on thursday. but the u.s. state department dismissed the idea as too little, too late. meanwhile, russian and syrian air strikes continued today, killing dozens. the attacks came as european union leaders met in luxembourg and condemned russia's air campaign.
>> priority number one is to save aleppo. to save the people of aleppo, and this is why our strong call is on russia and on the syrian regime to stop the bombing on aleppo, and to continue talks with the u.s. and other key players on the ground to avoid the catastrophe. first of all, the humanitarian catastrophe in the city. >> woodruff: the e.u. foreign ministers stopped short of agreeing to impose sanctions against moscow. hard-liners in iran released video today of an iranian- american businessman who's been held for a year. siamak namazi was arrested in 2015 just days after the iran nuclear deal was adopted. there's no word on the charges against him. namazi's father was arrested later, after going to iran to try to win his son's release. back in this country: vice president joe biden hoped that the "cancer moonshot" initiative he leads is going to double the
pace of research. meeting with president obama, the vice president talked up efforts to speed the development of diagnostics and new drugs. >> there is a need for a greater sense of urgency, because there are available answers now to some cancers, and there is enormous opportunity in sharing data. i am confident, absolutely confident, we will be able to accomplish in the next five years what would have taken ten years. >> woodruff: the $1 billion cancer moonshot began eight months ago. it aims for collaboration across government, industry, and medicine. the nation's high school graduation rate has reached a new, record high. according to federal data released today, 83.2% of students earned their diplomas on time in the past school year. rates improved among all racial and ethnic groups, despite the
fact that test scores in math and reading have been dropping. and stocks fell on wall street today, as declining oil prices dragged down energy shares. the dow jones industrial average lost nearly 52 points to close at 18,086. the nasdaq fell 14 points, and the s&p 500 slipped six. still to come on the newshour: the fight for the last isis stronghold in iraq, rhetoric inciting worries of a rigged election, the rise of europe's far right, and much more. >> woodruff: now, mosul, and the start of operations to re-take iraq's second largest city from the islamic state group. jeffrey brown will speak with a former u.s. ambassador to iraq in a moment, but first, chief foreign affairs correspondent margaret warner reports on today's events.
[gunshots] >> reporter: gunfire sounded all day, across the outskirts of mosul. columns of smoke billowed from artillery fire and u.s. coalition air strikes, and from oil ignited by isis fighters to blind attacking planes. long anti-isis convoys advanced, and by late in the day, the overall iraqi commander issued a confident assessment. >> ( translated ): the operations are going very well and according to plan. sometimes we are ahead of the plan because of the high morale, and fighters' strong will to fight the islamic state group and liberate mosul, which has been under isis rule for the past two years. >> reporter: for the iraqi army, the campaign for mosul is by far its largest operation yet against the islamic state. u.s. intelligence estimates that up to 4,500 isis fighters are in the city. other estimates run to 8,000. >> this may prove to be a long and tough battle, but the iraqis have prepared for it and we will stand by them.
>> reporter: complicating matters: balancing the various factions taking part in the fight. kurdish forces began today by seizing several towns on the eastern fringes of mosul. they'll be part of a five- pronged assault, including iraqi army brigades, plus sunni tribal fighters and police. the ultimate drive into mosul will likely be made by iraqi special forces. providing air cover and assisting on the ground is the american military, including special operations troops. shiite militias backed by iran are also taking part, but they've been accused of atrocities against sunnis in other cities, and may be kept out of mosul proper. meanwhile, turkey's president recep tayyip erdogan complained of being left out of the mosul offensive. >> ( translated ): look, now, the operation in mosul has started. the operation continues. what do they say? "turkey shouldn't enter mosul." how can i do that? i share 350 kilometers of border
with iraq, and i am under threat on that border. >> reporter: erdogan said again he will keep some 3,000 turkish- trained fighters in northern- most iraq despite objections from baghdad. as the fighting starts in earnest, concerns are also rising over the more than one million civilians still in the city. the u.n. and other organizations say they're preparing for up to 200,000 refugees. for the p-b-s newshour, i'm margaret warner. >> reporter: and now, for the perspectives of james jeffrey. u.s. ambassdor to iraq from 2010 to 2012, and now is a distinguished fellow at the washington institute, a think tank and policy analysis group. welcome to you. >> thank you, jeffrey. >> brown: remind us first why this city and its capture is so important. >> as we just heard, it's the last citadel of isil in iraq.
and if it false, i.s.i.s. is pushed back to headquarters deep in ray cay and could spell the end of i.s.i.s. that's a very important development. >> brown: when i.s.i.s. took mosul and other cities, the iraqi army at that point was collapsing. there is a sense it's strong enough to do this. how difficult and how long lit take? >> it's a very eclectic force but numbers some 50,000, 60,000 people on the ground with a tremendous amount of american and other western artillery and air power supporting these people including for the first time advisory units right up in the front lines. this will take weeks like the fallujah battle in 2004 against al quaida in iraq. in the end, i think there will only be one outcome, the defeat of i.s.i.s. >> brown: reports inside the city of underground we
assistance. when i.s.i.s. went into mosul at first, they were welcome by the city. what happened in the interim? >> al quaida had a presence before it became i.s.i.s. in mosul it was a problem in 2010-2012 when i was there. a part of the population welcomed i.s.i.s. when it came in because it felt oppressed by the shia majority and government. but that changed over time. as in every other city that have been liberated, the people regardless of religious or ethnic background welcome people coming in. they can't stand living under i.s.i.s. >> brown: that problem of initial welcoming brings us what happens in the aftermath of attacking mosul. it raises other questions. >> the first is humanitarian, refugee, food and relief supplies. that is under the control of the u.n., the iraqi government and the kurdish regional government in coordination with the iraqi government all watched closely
by the united states. that is will be messy. but these people have had experience with 8 million refugees in the last two years and they will, in tend, be able to do it. >> brown: there are fears about the humanitarian crisis, right? >> absolutely. we'll bet plenty of stories about people in inadequate tents and sewage and such but, in the end, i think enough food supplies will come through. the bigger question is who will secure this place, govern it an what's going to happen to iraq after the i.s.i.s. threat is gone. >> brown: even including who marches into the city in the first place, whether iraqi or militia forces. >> exactly. i think the idea is that the iraqi forces spearheaded by the counterterrorism force which is very, very good, will have a lot of american advisors with them and supporting them l go in and do the heavy fighting inside the city. then sunni police trained from the region itself will come in to secure the city. the trick will be to keep the
peshmerga forces, the kurdish forces away from the center of the city, but they basically agreed to stop, as i understand it. we don't know if the popular mobilization forces, largely shia militias, some under the thumb of iran will adhere to this deal, whether they will try to push in as before. >> brown: how confident are we? because this is not the first time mosul has been recaptured, right? so how confident can we be that this time the forces taking it will get it right? >> well, some of these shia militia's tried to kill me and my people for years in iraq, so i'm not too confident on anything they promise, to be honest. but i will say they're not the majority. the iraqi government and most iraqis understand that they have to bring back the sunni arab 20%, 25% of the population. it won't work with these shia militias running amok in these areas. >> brown: briefly, i.s.i.s.,
if it gets kicked out of mosul, what then? >> it will fall back on its capital raqqa in eastern syria but a dusty little town compared to mosul and pressed by kurdish and syrian opposition forces from the north as well as american and american-supported forces, so i think the end will be near for i.s.i.s., and then we'll face all the other problems in the middle east that i.s.i.s. covered up in the last two years. >> brown: ambassador james jeffrey, thank you very much. >> thank you. >> woodruff: back to this country now. as we heard earlier, donald trump continues to claim that the presidential election process is rigged against him. that claim seems to be resonating with some voters. just one-third of republicans say they have a great deal of confidence that their votes will be counted fairly this election, that's according to a recent
associated press poll. for more on all this, we are joined by richard hasen, he's professor of law at the university of california irvine, and author of "the election law blog." and al cardenas is a republican strategist. he served as chairman of the republican party of florida during the presidential recount in 2000. we welcome both of you to the "newshour". al cardenas, to you first, donald trump is stepping up these warnings. he tweeted just a short time ago, and i'm quoting, he said, of course, there's large-scale voter fraud happening on and before election day. he asked, why do republican leaders deny what's going on, it's so naive. is there large-scale voter fraud happening in this country? >> oh, my, there isn't. has been. our country has been spenting much to get it right. in checks and balances are amazing. we have state elected -- state
officials elected or appointed who are in charge of the overall state process, and every local government, counties or municipalities have supervisory elections who are elected or appointed and then local canvassing boards made up oftentimes of judges and they're part of the processes. everyone who works in the voting precincts get changed and warned about the criminal implications of violating the law. we have a whole process in america and in 200 years we have never ever had a national election that's been impact bid fraud, not even close in florida where i served as chairman on the famous recount was that an issue. >> woodruff: richard rodriguez, what is the likelihood this process could be rigged as donald trump charges? >> if you're talking about rigging the way donald trump is talking about, the chances are basically none, important.
he's talking about people going into the polling place and voting five or ten or 15 times. he said this would happen in certain areas of pennsylvania. seems to be from what his surrogate rudy giuliani said in minority areas democrats will steal the vote by impersonating other people. in the rare times voter fraud occurs, that's not how elections are stole nnt country and not on the scale acted affect a presidential election which would require tens of thousands of people to commit voter fraud among officials who are watching the whole process. >> woodruff: richard rodriguez, i hear you saying it's possible to do this on a small scale, is that right? >> the kind of fraud we occasionally see in this country is absentee ballot fraud because voting takes place outside the election of officials, usually it is buying or stealing votes
out of meme's mailboxes, but we find seen that in a ferlz election and not the type donald trump is talking afnlt he was talking about strict voter i.d. law in pennsylvania and that would allow somebody to vote five to 15 times. that doesn't happen. i looked to find a single election in the united states where it could have been called into question because of that kind of fraud and i can't find a single i substance anywhere in the country. that kind of fraud would be a stupid way to steal the election ant it doesn't happen. >> woodruff: al cardenas, what makes you confident this couldn't happen? >> i lived it. i was party chairman in florida, we had over 250 lawyers involved and volunteering in the state, had over 40 lawsuits, election supervisors, judges in every single county recounting reveri- every vote, retabulating vote, determining whether votes were
fairly cast or not, challenges were made by both parties as to votes that had not been accepted. the whole process took 37 day, thousands of people, thousands of hours and not once, not once did we find intend to defraud the process electoral. the peres spent millions of dollars after that and went through its own process and we didn't find fraud in the process. let me tell you, judy, what really bothers me here, american is a beacon of light for people throughout the world who want democracies to work our way. we are idols in most countries, we are asked to oversee elections in other countries. we in this country know transparency works. we appreciate and frankly adore the right to have the free, peaceful transfer of power from the president to at the eventual winner. we in america have always celebrated the way we have elections, to tarnish it with
unproven facts, with accusations, to me is just a shame. it shouldn't be done. >> woodruff: richard rodriguez, we also hear donald trump saying to his supporters from time to time, you need to go out and you need to watch people voting to make sure everything is being done on the up and up, words to that effect. how would that work? for people to take it upon themselves to watch the voting process? >> well, you know, there are ways to watch the voting process. there are ways to be election observers and, in most places, you have democrats, republicans and nonpartisan groups watching the vote count and those people are trained and know what to do and know not to interveer with voters. i'm very concerned that it looks like trump is telling people to take matters into their own hands. he says after you vote in your own place, go to those other areas and see what's going on there. i'm worried in states where there is an open carry law and people could be taking firearms to the open polling place. we need an election where people
are not intimidated to go into the polling place and vote their conscience. i think what he is doing is dangerous on and after election day where, if he claims the vote count was rigged, who knows if people might take it into their own hands to be violent. we take our peaceful transition for granted and i think we can't this time around. >> woodruff: quickly, al cardenas, how would that work? if voters in your home state of florida decided they were going to watch other polling places, what would that mean for the election? >> we have a ballot integrity initiative every election cycle where lawyers and others volunteer, they man these phones. if there is a voter that feels bait intimidated, harassed or worse, they can call a number. these lawyers a activated, they go to local elected officials and the matter is immediately investigated. election after election, i have been chairman of the party for a long time, these instances are rare. now, if somebody is going to be
enticed to go and intimidate voters, that's a whole different story as richard just mentioned. that cannot be tolerated and law enforcement needs to step? >> woodruff: well, we're going to be continuing, to have been, to follow this between now and election day three weeks from tomorrow. al cardenas and richard rodriguez, we thank you both. >> but. >> woodruff: online, read how the clinton campaign is ramping up spending in a swing state media blitz. find that on our website: pbs.org/newshour. and staying on politics, we are joined now, as we are every monday, y amy walter of the cook political report and tamara keith of npr. hello to both of you. >> hello, judy. >> woodruff: we just heard from these two gentlemen how hard if not impossible, amy, it is to rig an election. why then is dprump continuing to talk about it? >> it's about trying to sprises voters from turning out, specifically people who would support hillary clinton from turning out and voting.
if you -- they're talking about going to certain neighborhoods and watching people standing there vote, that says make sure those people don't come out and vote. the danger of making sure the election is rigged versus they're trying to steal it, if you say it's rigged, you're also saying to your own voters, why bother going because it's probably going to turn out badly anyway. >> woodruff: what does that mean, tamara? >> he really has shifted into more broadly not just talking about something could be happening in some neighborhoods. he's now saying the whole thing is rigged, that the media is rigging it, that there is something bigger going on, and it does raise the question how are his voters going to respond to that? and that is not clear, so, yeah, we're in uncharted territory. >territory. >> woodruff: but it's something he continues to tweet about. i want to turn you, tam, to the clinton campaign today dealing with more e-mails, this time as
we heard in lisa's report a while ago, accusations, there was this discussion between the state department and the f.b.i. about whether to lower the classification of one email among those that were sent to hillary clinton. what are we to make of this? and then there was discussion of a quid pro quo because, in that same conversation, they were taking about the f.b.i. getting more employees overseas. >> and this comes from f.b.i. investigative notes released today. it's one of those things where both the f.b.i. and the state department say there is no quid pro quo, there was no quid and there was no quo that what the state department wanted, they didn't get, what f.b.i. wanted, they didn't get. in fact, it was somebody at the f.b.i., name redacted, who asked an official at the state department about something. so it was not the state department that was initiating the apparently non-existent quid
pro quo. here's what really matters is that donald trump is now out with a video where he's talking straight to capra saying hillary clinton did this thing that's shady. the clinton campaign says they didn't know anything about it, but what it is is another day where there are headlines that say hillary clinton email f.b.i. >> woodruff: so, amy, we're two nights away from third and final debate. how damaging is it for her? >> her name is not involved in this at all, so that's one good piece for hillary clinton. it's not just that it's the f.b.i. and email and hillary clinton in the headline, it's the sense that the whole entire process was a political process where the state department was looking out specifically for hillary clinton, trying to protect her and her e-mails from getting f.b.i. scrutiny. this question as well as some of the other questions that were raised in some of her speeches may be part of the debate where she's going to be asked
specifically to answer some of the stuff she said in private but hasn't said in public. i thought her hans at the -- her answer at the last debate, i imagine myself being abraham lincoln, fell really, really flat. if that's her answer to a more pointed question which i think she'll get from chris wallace, the fox news reporter who's going to be the moderator, that's not going to work really well. >> the hilarious thing about the lincoln remark that fell flat in the debate, that's exactly what the speech transcript said. a brazilian bank paid her to give a speech where she talked about the movie lincoln. >> woodruff: is she prepared based on her reporting to talk about this more, to give more of an explanation about what's going on? >> she is certainly preparing, that's for sure, because she's been off the trail for several days. she's not going to be on the trail today, tomorrow and then there is the debate. >> woodruff: let's go back to
donald trump. today, we know by now trive, amy, nearly a dozen women who have come forward and said that donald trump was either groping or in some way sexually aggressive toward them. today, what's different is that his wife melania did an interview with cnn and was asked by anderson cooper about that access hollywood tape in which we heard him talking. hear's what melania trump had to say. >> i said to my husband that, you know, the language is inappropriate, it's not acceptable, and i was surprised because that is not the man that i foe. and as you can see from the tape, the cameras were not on. it was only a mic. and i wonder if they even knew that the mic was on because they were kind of a boy talk, and he
was like egged on from the host to say dirty and bad stuff. >> woodruff: so, amy, this is ten days after that tape came out. it's after we've seen donald trump losing support among women voters, and now -- >> they put his wife out which she can help to sort of soften the edge on this, but her answer and her -- the way she is defending her husband is not much different from what he's saying which is basically this is locker room talk. but when you look at the polling taking baseplace since this locker room talk came out, you're right, h he lost support in the polls, losing support among women. when we're looking at the polls, we're talking about an historic gender gap. we may not have seen a gender gap like this in the last 50 years and then "the washington post" poll that came out this weekend, when asked do you think
that this issue that was raised in the tape, his treatment of women is important, is it a legitimate issue? 55% of voters said this is a legitimate issue. so writing it off to boys talking, locker room talk in the wake not just of the audio but the women who came forward, i don't think it's going to do much good. >> woodruff: tam, the clinton cam seems to be out talking about how they chances have improved, expanding the battleground. >> they're expanding the mavment bernie sanders will be campaigning in arizona tomorrow. they are running a week of ads in very red texas. in arizona, they're going to spend about $2 million. it's basically a tossup now and think it's a possible pickup and there's the added benefit of making your opponent to have to compete in a state where he shouldn't have to compete. he should be focused observe the battlegrounds where he needs to win and is struggling, and now they are expanding the map.
>> i think what she wants to do is run up the score to show there is a mandate here. the problem is she may get a lot of electoral votes, more than barack obama got, but she's still going to come into office with an overall disapproval rating that's higher than anybody in recent times has come in to the presidency. so you want more votes but it's not necessarily going to change the way that people see her, not more positively, at least. >> woodruff: amy walter, tamera keith, thank you both. "politics monday." >> woodruff: and we want you to tune in this coming wednesday at 9:00 p.m. eastern for our special live coverage of the final presidential debate. and in the meantime you can watch all the presidential and vice presidential debates dating back to 1960 at our new website: watchthedebates.org. >> senator you're no jack kennedy. >> i almost resent vice president bush you patronizing -- >> binder full of women.
interact with all the general election debates on our web site "watch the debates.org." >> woodruff: but first, as europe continues to struggle with the refugee crisis, denmark's government is claiming success in reducing the number of people claiming asylum there, and says other countries want to copy its methods. despite the success, the danish electorate is moving to the right. after complaints from some danes, police have filed charges of racism against an extreme right wing party, which has been handing out what it calls "asylum sprays." from thisted in northwest denmark, malcolm brabant reports. >> reporter: in a small town 250 miles from cosmopolitan copenhagen, the new party of the danes, is distributing what it calls "asylum spray." ostensibly as a defense against potential immigrant sex attackers. >> yes, please. thanks. >> reporter: the campaign has been condemned as provocative and xenophobic. nonetheless, the "spray" finds several takers.
>> ( translated ): it's more my daughter that needs it the way danish society is at the moment. >> ( translated ): they can't just come here and do whatever they want like staring at girls in nightclubs and stuff. they shouldn't be allowed do that. >> reporter: the spray was conceived by party leader daniel carlsen, who admits denying the holocaust as a teenager, and is now trying to win support to run for parliament. >> i think we have too many people in denmark from arab countries. i don't like it. i don't like muslims. >> reporter: this region of denmark is fertile ground for the right and even though the cans only contain hair spray, the symbolism touches a chord. >> ( translated ): you never know what can happen. just a month ago i was followed home on my bike. >> reporter: organizations like the u.n. high commissioner
refugees think what you're doing is disgusting. what's your response? >> they are working for and promoting an invasion to europe. an invasion, that by time will replace the indigenous europeans here with people from the non western world. i think that is disgusting. and what their politics are resulting in, we see that in europe every day now. we see rapes, like the incidents in cologne, we have seen terror attacks in brussels, in paris, in copenhagen, and that's only in the last year. ♪ >> reporter: in an increasingly hostile atmosphere, syrian musician nour amora has found acceptance. we met amora just over a year ago. as the danish government slashed welfare benefits for refugees. in an attempt to make the country less attractive to asylum seekers. >> i make this concert to know the people, to know the artists, the musicians, to make something with them, to work, yes. i don't come to denmark to sleep. ♪ >> reporter: amora has been true to his word. he supports himself and his
small family with two jobs, and on this day he was entertaining school children and educating them about the war in syria. music has opened doors that are closed to other refugees. >> ( translated ): i tell my friends that now it is not good to come to denmark because of the government, but if you do come you will find that the danish people are really nice. >> reporter: singer leila rong hanna, was born in denmark of syrian and norwegian heritage. she has dissuaded relatives in damascus and the syrian port of latakia from fleeing to europe. >> because this is not the perfect life you get. it's quite difficult, not only the journey, if you survive in the journey, but also when you come here. it's quite uphill. >> reporter: that's music to the ears of many at the danish parliament because it's a sign that the country's policies are working. one of the most satisfied is
martin henriksen of the anti immigrant danish people's party, whose support keeps the center right government in power. >> last year about 20,000 asylum seekers came to denmark. this year we expected about 10,000, but this year we are at about 5,000 at this time. but 5,000 is still too high. in a perfect world, we want to reduce the numbers so that nobody will come to denmark as an asylum seeker. so we're not quite there yet. >> reporter: but peter christensen's recently constituted new right party claims it's even tougher on immigration. it's attracted significant support in recent surveys after pledging to stop immigration altogether, instantly deport foreigners convicted of crimes, take denmark out of the u.n. refugeeconvention and ban headscarves in schools and public offices. critics fear this swing to the right is reminiscent of 1930s europe. >> i can't see how that can compare to the situation in the '30s, with the discrimination of
the jews, aggressive nations attacking each other in the '40s, the holocaust. there's no comparison whatsoever. what we're talking about is we want to implement a foreign policy that has been normal until 40, 50 years ago. nobody has the right to come to denmark. they have right now because we are in the u.n. conventions. but morally, no one has the right to come to denmark. it's not like we are expelling any people, we're just saying we want to have control of who comes into our country. >> reporter: denmark's deterrence of asylum seekers has enabled it to it close 17 refugee centers, including this one in a former psychiatric hospital. the policies worry not only people fleeing violence in the middle east. chen man is concerned about the time it's taking to process her asylum application. she spent seven years in jail in china for belonging to falung gong, the outlawed spiritual movement. >> i feel worried because i feel unstable for my security.
i need a kind of protection from the nation. but if i cannot have it, the risk of myself is going back to china and facing the imprisonment again. >> reporter: chen man believes denmark's hostility towards asylum seekers is a sign of weakness. >> this is not the way to solve the problem. and it's also a kind of way to show the fear inside because if you are strong enough you can handle that without building up a wall, but a bridge. >> reporter: so what's the source of denmark's right turn? is it from the population or political ideology? nils holtug is the director of migration studies at copenhagen university. >> i think to some extent politicians have probably been responding to what are real worries amongst danes, but they've also been driving those worries-- especially the danish people's party-- but also some of the new parties that are coming up now. i think the dane party is very
worrying. and it was established by former members of a nazi movement in denmark so i'm actually worried about that. >> reporter: are you a nazi? >> no. >> reporter: but you were a national socialist before. >> i'm a national democrat. >> reporter: but you were a national socialist before. >> before. >> reporter: so are you saying you're a reformed national socialist? >> no, i'm a national democrat. >> reporter: but you were a national socialist and that was the nazi party. >> before. >> reporter: what's happening in denmark is consistent with a surge to the right across europe. one of the more controversial pieces of legislation enacted here was the so-called jewelry law, which authorized the authorities to confiscate the assets of those migrants and refugees deemed wealthy enough to be able to pay for themselves rather than relying on the state. now that law came into effect in february, and it's only been used three times. now the danish government may
have attracted lots of international criticism for its methods, but ministers say that there are other european countries, which are seeking their advice about how to reduce their numbers. with syria still spinning out of control and europe's migration crisis showing no sign of abating, does denmark feel the need to toughen its stance still further? a question for the government's migration spokesman marcus knuth. >> part of the reason why we have such a low influx of asylum seekers right now is also because of the e.u. deal with turkey. if that deal breaks, if there's more trouble in the middle east, and so forth, everything can change. right now we're happy that the situation seems to be under control. but there are so many factors out there. things can change. >> reporter: a strong police presence forces refugee supporters to keep their distance from a monthly anti muslim demonstration. they demand asylum for all, while the right wingers deplore the growth of islam. the migration crisis is
polarizing european society. although the numbers prepared to demonstrate on the streets aren't great, opinion polls show sentiments expressed at gatherings like this are gaining traction, not just in denmark, but across the continent. for the pbs newshour, i'm malcolm brabant in copenhagen. >> woodruff: with the u.s. healthcare system undergoing its biggest changes in decades-- health experts are looking to an unexpected place-- sub-saharan africa-- for inspiration. throughout the continent, ordinary citizens are routinely trained as community health workers. as special correspondent sarah varney reports, there may be more lessons to learn. this story was produced in collaboration with our partner "kaiser health news." >> reporter: destini belton is on a mission to improve health outcomes in harlem. she's not a doctor or a nurse,
but she knows this neighborhood and the people who live here. belton goes where clinics and hospitals can't, into patients' homes to understand the mundane but vital details of their lives. >> hi. hi, how are you? >> good. >> oh, your hair looks nice down. how are you feeling? >> reporter: she visits people like jessica gonzalez who was blinded by uncontrolled type one diabetes at age 22. now 33, gonzalez has high blood pressure, high cholesterol and renal disease, and belton worries that she has trouble keeping her medications straight because she can't see them. >> you take most of them during what time of the day? >> during the day. after breakfast. >> reporter: gonzalez is reluctant to admit her struggles to her doctor, but she trusts belton to understand. >> with your doctor you don't really want to say what you eat, so i'm able to tell her like really, if i'm not going well, or, you know, if i sneaked and cheated i tell her the right
things, and she helps me. >> east harlem in particular has the highest rate of diet-related diseases in new york. >> reporter: manmeet kaur has trained a small team of these community health workers in new york city. the organization-called city health works-contracts with primary care providers, like mount sinai health system, to better manage their most difficult patients. >> today we're going to be doing a workshop on healthy beverages. >> reporter: nearly all of their clients are poor and facing chronic illnesses that frequently spiral out of control. they work to stabilize their health and avoid costly visits to the emergency room and lengthy hospital stays. employing community health workers is a common strategy elsewhere in the world. in sub-saharan africa, community health workers have long formed the backbone of health systems, filling in gaps where doctors and nurses are in short supply.
it was thandi blie in cape town, south africa, in fact, who helped to inspire manmeet kaur to start city health works in new york. >> hi. >> hello. >> long time no see. >> reporter: they met when kaur worked with a group called mamelani projects, a non-profit that relies on regular women like blie to help neighbors improve their health habits, often by sharing their own experiences. >> reporter: she often shares how her once-high blood pressure led to a stroke. >> reporter: long lines besiege
clinics and hospitals in south africa, where apartheid-era laws have left a legacy of widespread poverty and desperate health conditions. mamelani's health coaches say that, just as in new york city, those realities are often best confronted outside the walls of medical clinics by bringing health education to areas that need it most. the women who've attended these classes are making lasting changes to their own health, and in the wider community. mickey linda used her own pension to start a soup kitchen after hearing that neighbors were taking powerful drugs to treat h.i.v. on empty stomachs. with nutrition training from mamelani, she now cooks up healthier meals for hundreds of neighbors and serves as a vital local health resource, keeping watch over her community.
>> reporter: those close social ties undergird much of life in south africa, says mamelani's founder carly tanur. she and her team are working closely with manmeet kaur back in harlem to figure out how mamelani's model could be incorporated more broadly into the u.s. healthcare system. >> but here in harlem, the question is: how can this model fit into a sprawling hospital system like mount sinai? especially at a time when health care leaders are searching for ways to control the cost of caring for chronically ill patients. >> reporter: with medicare now penalizing providers for some preventable conditions, there are stronger financial incentives to steady the turbulent lives of people like jeanette rodriguez. >> it was like i was in emergency last-- two fridays ago because i fell in the street, on the sidewalk.
>> reporter: destini belton is her go-to problem solver: filling out paperwork for benefits, helping her find a caregiver program for her father. but she's also a liaison for rodriguez's own medical needs. >> the main things we're going to ask when we get up there to the doctor, is about your back. >> reporter: at a nearby mount sinai clinic, that preparation has paid off. dr. joseph truglio tells rodriguez she may have had a mild stroke. >> that might be hard for you to hear that that might have been something that happened. >> reporter: rodriguez had dismissed the tingling on her right side as arthritis, but belton's insistence-- and long relationship with her-- ensured dr. truglio would hear about it. kaur wants to make coaches an indispensable part of the health care system by professionalizing their role and proving their financial value. >> we work with clinics to determine how do we integrate our team into their operations. and that we know enabled- resulted in patients feeling very confident in the services we provide, but also the doctors feeling really confident that they know more of what's going on with their patients. >> reporter: but kaur goes home
each night to one of her biggest skeptics-- her husband, dr. prabhjot singh, is helping mount sinai figure out whether there's enough evidence that efforts like city health works should be integrated more fully into mount sinai's business. >> i think the thought that comes up a lot with my colleagues, and frankly my own, is: how do you do this for 40,000 people? 50,000 people at the scale of the mount sinai health system? >> reporter: singh heads the department of health system design and global health at mount sinai. >> we actually have to know whether or not the relationship between destini and her client is effective. it may feel really good, and-- but from a health system perspective, and also just looking at health improvement, we have to really understand, is she getting healthier? and are we doing it in a cost effective way? >> reporter: there are early signs the program is working: patients with health coaches cost $600 a month less in medical care than a control group, a strong indication that coaches are preventing expensive medical emergencies. for half the patients, coaches
alerted doctors about urgent needs that they weren't aware of. while the program has worked well for people like jessica gonzalez and jeanette rodriguez, city health works remains a small venture, supported largely by foundations interested in testing the model. but the ultimate aim is to have public and private insurers aund the country pay for thousands of coaches like destini belton, creating stronger ties between neighbors, like in sub-saharan africa, to help poor communities take control of their own health. for the pbs news hour and kaiser health news, i'm sarah varney. >> woodruff: you can learn more about a community health initiative taking place in new york that aims to protect residents from unsafe summer temperatures. that's on our website: pbs.org/newshour.
>> woodruff: now to our newshour shares: something that caught our eye that might be of interest to you, too. the mineral topaz comes in a wide range of hues and saturations, and one british museum is about to unveil what it says is the biggest cut specimen of its color and clarity. the newshour's julia griffin took a closer look. >> reporter: at 9,381 glittering carats, the ostro stone is being called the largest topaz of its kind. the electric blue, oval-cut stone is nearly six inches long and four inches wide, and weighs nearly four and half pounds. >> having tried to hold it for photography, i can tell you it is very heavy. >> reporter: british entrepreneur and philanthropist maurice ostro recently gave the gemstone to london's natrual history museum on a permanent loan. >> what is amazing about this stone is not just its size, it's its quality, the color, the intensity of the blue and the
clarity of the stone are what makes it so exceptionally rare. >> reporter: ostro's father, max, discovered the original rough topaz in the amazon rainforest in 1986, but the cut stone has been locked away for three decades. after his father's death, maurice ostro thought it was time for the public to enjoy the gemstone's beauty. the museum's mineral curator, mike rumsey, hopes the topaz will help spark interest in the wider collection. >> it will tell us another bit of the natural story. so you start off with a rough mineral, which is all kind of interesting and i really like that as a scientist. and then we do things to it, we'll change it, and we will cut it into something, and this is really a fantastic example of the way in which we have crafted something out of nature. >> reporter: the ostro stone now joins other topaz record holders in their own color categories. the 21,000 carat, light blue brazilian princess topaz lives at the american museum of natural history in new york, while the 31,000 carat, reddish- orange el-dorado topaz belongs
to the programa royal collections in spain. the ostro stone will go on display october 19th. but jewel thieves-- including pink panther prowlers-- beware. the museum has pledged boost security to protect the gemstone. for the pbs newshour, i'm julia griffin. >> woodruff: and that's the newshour for tonight. i'm judy woodruff. join us online and again here tomorrow evening. for all of us at the pbs newshour, thank you and good night. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: lincoln financial is committed to helping you take charge of your future. >> and by the alfred p. sloan foundation. supporting science, technology,
and improved economic performance and financial literacy in the 21st century. >> supported by the john d. and catherine t. macarthur foundation. committed to building a more just, verdant and peaceful world. more information at macfound.org >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org
>> this is "bbc world news america." funding of this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation, newman's own foundation, giving all profits from newman's own to charity and pursuing the common good, kovler foundation, pursuing solutions for america's neglected needs, and aruba tourism authority. >> planning a vacation escape that is relaxing, inviting, and exciting is a lot easier than you think. you can find it here, in aruba. families, couples, and friends can all find their escape on the island with warm, sunny days, cooling trade winds, and t